Forbidden Grief-SAMPLE

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CHAPTER 5- Beckham

I’ve never rushed out of my house as fast as I did today after hearing Carter saying I was the first guy to ever get him hard. I’ve always been curious about what being with a man must feel like, and I’ve always thought Carter was good looking. But from that to actually being interested in him is a whole other story.

I’m not gay by any means, but after someone in school dared me to make out with another guy, I’ve been wondering if getting naked with a man would feel as good as kissing one.

I gave Carter instructions for the day and ran out of the house so fast I almost pushed Jason to the ground.

“Jason, what are you doing here so early? Do you need anything? I was leaving for work.”

“Oh!” he says, “I’m here to see Carter. I thought he told you.”

I see my shy brother-in-law’s face getting red as a tomato and now him asking for Carter’s number a couple of days ago, makes much more sense. Are they a thing now?

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to be nosy, so I just tell him I didn’t know he was coming and say goodbye so I can get to work.

As a Marketing Manager at Centennial Management I do pretty well for myself. I have a very flexible schedule, but I try to keep the same hours each day, so I can give Lyra some sense of normalcy and avoid disrupting her routine.

I drive through the busy streets and my thoughts are brought back to Carter’s comments and then to Jason. They can’t possibly be getting too crazy with Lyra in the apartment, but I know my child and once she gets in her toy room to play, you don’t hear from her for hours until she is hungry.

Part of the reason I loved having Mrs. Wilson was to get the kid to socialize more. She isn’t glued to electronics, but she could spend her whole day playing with the unreasonable number of toys she has and watching videos of Charlie.

“Shit! Charlie!” I say in my car. I didn’t think to warn Jason about the videos. I know how much he misses her.

Taking advantage of a red light, I pull my phone to text Jason to let him know.

BECKHAM:Hey, Jason, I’m so sorry I forgot to tell you. Lyra likes to watch videos of Charlie and me, so she might ask you to play some. I hope that’s ok with you.”

My daughter’s favorite video is her mother singing and me talking to her when Charlie was pregnant and about to pop. Every time I hear my girl singing along with her mom, I choke up remembering how much Charlie and I went through together and how hard it was to lose her.

I hear my phone buzzing and it isn’t until I arrive at my destination that I get to check my messages.

JASON:Too late. It started early already.”

I hit play on a video he attached and saw all three of them.

“Lyra is my baby, Lyra is my heart. My Lyra Lee, we’ll never be apart.”

I see my baby girl singing with a silent microphone—because I took the batteries out—and I hear Charlie’s voice in the background, singing her song. Then Jason turns the phone to face him, and I see his eyes are red and there’s a hand moving on the back of his neck, seemingly playing with Jason’s hair.

It can only be Carter. It has to be. And I guess that confirms my doubt of whether or not they had a thing for each other. Somehow it warms my heart to know Carter is there for Jason as he sees the video for the first time.

I took the video with my phone and got it uploaded to OneDrive so I wouldn’t lose it, and although I sent Jason and his parents a lot of the videos I had, I kept this one to myself. I didn’t want people to make a big deal of a video of me and my fiancée. I wanted to keep it and cherish it for what it was—a video of me and my best friend singing and talking to our unborn child. Out of all the things Charlie could’ve left for me, she left me the one she adored the most and I intend to keep her memory alive and let my daughter know how loved she was. How happy she made Charlie.

I hear a sniffle and the video ends, so I pocket my phone and walk out of my car to start my day.

Between meetings and phone calls, I lost track of time, but I never stopped thinking about the weird pressure in my chest that lasted all day as I fought with my need to be home with my baby, to comfort Jason, and to stare into Carter’s eyes for as long as he allowed me to.

The last is the one to throw me off and make me worry that my curiosity will get the best of me, and I will end up trying things I probably shouldn’t. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, my mind keeps wandering off from memories of one man to memories of the other.

Which will be the one to make me cave to my curiosity and give in to my desires? My brother-in-law, or the brother of my best friend?

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